Effective March 13, the City of Redmond will gain approximately 150 more residents. Yet most have already felt like part of this community, residing within 115.5 acres known as the Northeast Rose Hill neighborhood.
At Redmond City Council’s March 2 meeting, a unanimous vote approved the annexation of Northeast Rose Hill, a previously unincorporated area situated between Redmond and Kirkland. The annexation area is roughly bordered by Northeast 104th Street to the north, Northeast 97th Street on the south end, 132nd Avenue Northeast on the west — and on the east end, to the existing city limits of Redmond, down the slope to Willows Road.
According to Eric McConaghy, an associate planner in the City of Redmond’s planning and community development department, property owners in this residential area requested annexation into Redmond, with a notice of intent petition, back in December 2008.
The Redmond City Council considered the notice of intent to annex Northeast Rose Hill and authorized circulation of the direct petition for annexation in January 2009. Community and neighborhood meetings and signature gathering followed, with property owners representing more than 60 percent of assessed valuation voting in favor.
According to McConaghy, some reasons why the Northeast Rose Hill annexation is good news for Redmond include:
• Redmond is best suited to provide services to the area.
• It’s consistent with Redmond’s annexation policies.
• It’s also consistent with countywide planning policies, the King County Comprehensive Plan and the Growth Management Act.
Redmond Mayor John Marchione agreed.
“The City of Redmond is committed to annexing the unincorporated pockets around us. While this does not benefit the city directly, it contributes to the greater regional goal that urban areas should belong to a city. The new residents receive the greatest benefits with access to high-quality city services and in most cases, lower overall taxes.”
To provide more perspective, McConaghy said the scale of city government can be more responsive to these residents, whereas King County is geared more toward providing services to rural residents not served by established municipalities.
Meanwhile, the annexation should be pretty transparent, said McConaghy.
Most homes in Northeast Rose Hill date back to the 1950s and ’60s, he said.
“It won’t be a commercial area,” he noted. “Folks can have home-based businesses, and at the Southeast corner is the Interlake Sporting Association and they’ll continue to be there. But in King County, it was zoned residential and remains so.”
Not much will change in the way of city services, either, said McConaghy.
“The area is already supplied water by Redmond. After annexation, sewers could be allowed with development, or people who have invested in maintaining septic systems can connect to sewers, but people will not be compelled to connect if sewers come in. The city would not build that — they’d be from development.”
The King County Board of Health approves septic systems, he added.
Unincorporated areas of Redmond are already served by Fire District 34 and already contracted by the City of Redmond. Because Redmond Fire already works closely with its counterparts in Kirkland and Woodinville, there should be no difference in fire or medical response.
“For police, now 911 calls would come to the City of Redmond first. They’re familiar with this jurisdiction — and also the city provides utility services there,” said McConaghy. “Police have been in agreement with the (county) sheriff’s patrol and they will respond with what is quicker.”
Another key point, said McConaghy, is that when Northeast Rose Hill residents agreed to the annexation, they accepted “bond indebtedness that the city already had.”
To learn more about Redmond Annexation Information, visit http://www.redmond.gov/insidecityhall/planning/annexation.asp.
Information about the King County Annexation Initiative is available at http://your.kingcounty.gov/annex/default.aspx.